Wow, just wow. I loved Sarah J. Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses, much more than I expected to. I've read Throne of Glass and the prequel novellas to that series, so I expected that I would enjoy A Court of Thorns and Roses, but it really was amazing. I don't know if I would classify it as "Young Adult" though. It was racy, full of sexual tension, beyond romantic and also very violent, full of killers and victims. I appreciate in what I've read of the series, that Maas has said it's for an "older" Young Adult crowd. This is not a teen or "high school" romance. Feyre, the main character, is 19, technically an adult, and the youngest of her sisters, though young enough to attract the "older" teen readers. The fairies are old, centuries old, but for the last few decades, they've been fighting a "blight" in their land. There are no young, rebellious teen fairies, fighting to win Feyre. Tamlin is a Lord, trying to protect his people.
I read in an interview with Maas that A Court of Thorns and Roses started out as a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, but turned into something different, though she paid tribute to the source material. After reading the book, the beginning is definitely reminiscent of Beauty and The Beast, but it grows into so much more. (Also, there's a girl with a bow, hunting to feed her family, so where have I heard that before?) Apart from its origins, A Court of Thorns and Roses has a life of its own. It is Feyre's tale, starting with life as provider for her broken family, then life as resident of the Spring Court, then so much more. About halfway through the book, I started thinking about the plot, in that there wasn't really one. I mean, stuff happened, after Tamlin brought Feyre to his estate, plus the cause of him bringing her, but they were little things, a bad fairy here, a party there, but no big battles. Feyre watched the life of the fairies around her unfold, move on from day to day. The first half, maybe even two-thirds of her book, is about her and her relationships with the people around her and how she evolves. The writing was so amazing though, I didn't notice that all that was happening was painting and parties, romantic longing and tension. Feyre was an amazing protagonist, carrying the story through her feelings and how she saw the world.
Tamlin was an interesting Beast, of course more than he appeared at first. I think that's just how it is with Maas' stories. He was rough, but gentle, forced, but easy. He was caring, considerate, restricted, but want to be free. I loved his connection with Feyre, but also with the others around him, Lucien and Alis. He cared about his people, and even fairies of other lands.
I just want Lucien to be happy. His story is so tragic. Not just before he becomes part of the Spring Court, but during and after. He suffers for his love and for his friendships. I also really want Nesta to be happy. I hope she is around in future stories. I think she deserves her own prince, someone who can help her move past the hurt in her heart. Rhysand is so complex and deep. I'm excited to learn more about him too. I know the next story takes place in his Court, so I'm eager to see how his relationship with Feyre and with the other fairies change.
As I was looking into this book, I came across a blog post by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner, which I think perfectly sums up why you should read this novel...and she made it a list, which is awesome. If you need more reasons to read A Court of Thorns and Roses, go check it out.
A Court of Throns and Roses gave me a serious book hangover. I'm excited to see how Feyre handles herself in A Court of Mist and Fury. I expect the story to be complicated and full of twists and turns. It also seems as though this will be another long-running series from Maas. Eight books are listed, with two already here, that means there are six more to come. I imagine that I'll be excited about each one.